When Alberta residents consider purchasing homes, they may need answers to many questions. This applies in particular if it is a first venture into the area of residential real estate. One aspect of which prospective buyers may have questions is the fact that a real estate brokerage can represent both the seller and the buyer. Inevitably, this will create a situation with conflicting interests, and it makes good sense to understand the potential pitfalls of such an arrangement.
However, dual-representation is allowed -- especially in rural areas where only a few real estate agents operate. Fortunately, provincial councils have anticipated the problems. A strict set of rules and regulations prescribe how brokerages and agents conduct their business and address potential issues.
Typically, a brokerage or agent must explain to both the seller and the buyer that they -- the agents -- have fiduciary responsibilities to both parties when giving advice and guidance. Both parties may be asked to sign a form giving consent for dual-representation and confirming awareness of it. Those who are not comfortable with such representation may refuse to sign the form.
If the agent fails to explain the impact of such representation properly, the best thing to do is to consult with an experienced residential real estate lawyer in Alberta. If the buyer refuses to sign the form of consent, the brokerage must choose which of the two parties to represent, and the other party must find alternative representation. New homebuyers may find comfort in knowing that a seasoned lawyer is available to provide support and guidance throughout the process.
Source: moneysense.ca, "5 home buying myths debunked", Romana King, Accessed on Dec. 30, 2016